Spurs see off Bolton on emotional night at the Lane
Tottenham Hotspur 3 Bolton Wanderers 1
Tuesday 27 March 2012
Tottenham are on their way to Wembley, where they will play Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final after battling past Bolton on an emotional night at White Hart Lane.
Bolton had weathered wave after wave of Tottenham attacks, with goalkeeper Adam Bogdan in inspired form, when Ryan Nelsen finally breached the dam with a 74th minute back-post header.
Three minutes later, Jermain Defoe teed up Gareth Bale for the second to effectively settle a quarter-final tie that was rearranged after Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest in the original fixture.
Kevin Davies came off the bench to score a late consolation goal for Bolton but Louis Saha applied the coup de grace for Spurs, beating Bogdan from 25 yards with the final kick of the game.
It was tough on Bogdan, whose heroics had kept Bolton in the game for so long. However, Spurs performance was dominant.
Both sets of players had warmed up in T-shirts which read "Uniting for Fabrice" on the front and "thank you for your support for Fabrice" on the back.
The match was preceded by a warm minute of applause and chants of "Fabrice Muamba", which were reprised, significantly, after 41 minutes, the time he suffered a cardiac arrest in the original tie.
It took 78 minutes for medics to resuscitate Muamba and he remains in intensive care but his progress in the last nine days has been described as "encouraging".
The playing shirts from tonight's game were to be signed by the players and auctioned off, with all proceeds to be split between the London Chest Hospital and three heart charities.
The match programme featured messages of thanks to the medical teams from both clubs and the global football community from Bolton manager Owen Coyle, Muamba's father Marcel and his fiancee Shauna Magunda.
Dr Andrew Deaner, the Spurs fan and heart specialist who ran from the stands to assist in Muamba's treatment and has continued to oversee his recovery, was a guest in the club's boardroom.
Mark Davies took over from Muamba in midfield and Chris Eagles replaced Martin Petrov as the only Bolton changes from the original tie, while Spurs brought in Ledley King, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jake Livermore.
Tottenham passed with pace and purpose, creating holes in the Bolton defence and it was only Bogdan's brilliance under siege that kept the match goalless for so long.
Bogdan was equal to Bale's powerful early drive before pulling off the first of two top-class double saves, to deny Livermore and Modric from close range.
Kyle Walker was causing Bolton problems down the right flank and Adebayor should have done better after being picked out by a Rafael Van der Vaart corner.
Bolton had nothing going forward and it was Bogdan who kept them in the game, producing another double save after Adebayor had been released down the left by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Adebayor cut inside and tried a low drive but Bogdan pushed it away from goal and then closed down Bale to block the second shot.
Bale drilled into the side-netting, then Scott Parker saw a strike well saved.
Van der Vaart rattled the bar with a free-kick early in the second half and then picked out Ledley King but the Spurs captain headed just over.
Bolton briefly threatened against the run of play, with Nigel Reo-Coker breaking clear only to be tackled by Nelsen before Eagles' shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Spurs were soon back on the attack and Bogdan continued his heroics to first deny Van der Vaart and then Adebayor when both had been put through on goal.
Jermain Defoe came on and also saw his first effort saved by Bogdan but finally, after 73 minutes, Spurs broke the deadlock.
Bogdan could not reach a corner from the right and Nelsen rose at the far post to head the ball back across goal and put Spurs ahead.
Within three minutes Bogdan was beaten again when Defoe led a Tottenham counter-attack and fed Bale, who cut inside and slid his shot under Bogdan to effectively seal the win.
Davies slid in a late consolation before Saha wrapped up the Spurs win at the end.
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